Lina Perkins Wilder
Lina Perkins Wilder teaches courses in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature. Her courses include Essentials of Literary Study; Happy Endings: Shakespeare’s Comedies; Speaking What We Feel: Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Histories; Archive Fever; Pain and Violence in Renaissance Drama; Jews and Moors in Renaissance Drama; Milton; Donne, Herbert, Marvell; Shakespeare in Performance; Sickness and Health in Renaissance Literature; and English Shakespeare’s Brain, Shakespeare’s Body.
Dr. Wilder’s research addresses memory, theater, and performance in Renaissance England. Her book, "Shakespeare’s Memory Theatre: Recollection, Properties, and Character" (Cambridge University Press, 2010), explores stage props ranging from Yorick’s skull to Desdemona’s handkerchief. These mnemonic objects help audiences recall, or imagine, staged and unstaged pasts. This study reinterprets the “places” and “objects” used in Renaissance mnemonic training (the “memory arts”) as a conceptual model for theatrical performance. While the memory arts demand a mental and physical discipline which is understood as masculine, recollection in Shakespeare’s plays exploits the distrusted physicality of women and clowns. Combining materialist, historicist, and cognitive approaches, Dr. Wilder establishes the importance of recollection for understanding the structure of Shakespeare’s plays and the social work done by performance in Renaissance London.
Other recent publications include “‘My Exion Is Entered’: Costume, Anatomy, and Theatrical Knowledge in 2 Henry IV,” published in Renaissance Drama; and an essay on shorthand characters and the preservation topos in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Dr. Wilder’s current book project, Recording Technologies in Renaissance England, surveys Renaissance recording technologies and techniques, such as shorthand writing and wax-infused capillaries and organs from human and animal cadavers, and places these cultural artifacts in the context of images of keeping and losing in poetry, drama, and prose.
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Lina Perkins Wilder
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320
315 Blaustein Humanities